When Tim Rayne started working at CHSR radio on the University of New Brunswick campus six years ago, the station was in rough shape. There was no concrete, active board in charge of station operations. It was a transient environment – like any not-for-profit organization, CHSR had the content, but lacked the stability of a permanent workforce. Rayne saw this as an opportunity to move the station in a different direction.
“That kind of culture can be very exciting – you can have amazing people but when people naturally move on it can bring some challenges and sometimes [it] takes a while to get back on its feet,” the 40-yr old says of his start at CHSR.
He eventually stepped up as the station manager, something the Fredericton local wanted to do to shed light on a place where people could actually get involved with their community in more ways than one.
“These organizations are key to the survival of the integrity of society. We’re the front lines. You have somewhat of a moral obligation to make sure where you’re working is benefitting the people – CHSR is for the people, by the people.”
Rayne is now wrapping up his last few days at CHSR after over five years at the station. Since officially starting at the station in 2009, Rayne filled his resume with countless projects and endeavours. A background in both commercial and independent filmography were and still are a big part of his life – Rayne started working with the New Brunswick film co-op when he was just 20 years old.
He was, at the time, where most twenty-somethings find themselves – socially conscious, but seriously worried about what he would do with his life. This uncertainty led Rayne to work on a few feature films with the co-op before being hired on at CBC as a screenwriter for a development program. After that, he ended up attending St. Thomas, all the while working on films on the side. He then moved on to film studies in Ottawa but says says he’s grateful for the advice he received from his then older, more experienced co-op colleagues.
“[they] empowered me to do some of the best things I’ve ever done in my life and I think that’s a gift they gave me – I wish to pay it forward,” he says, highlighting his key mantra integral to any community-driven structure.
Rayne embodies the gumption found only in those with the overwhelming desire to make a difference with tools people might otherwise overlook. He’s well known for promoting local bands relentlessly – without any gain on his end. For Rayne, it’s about empowering people, not the station. He uses the example of one local Fredericton band, whom he started playing randomly because he liked their sound.
A few weeks later, he knew their guitarist by name, and continued a friendship that fostered his love for music and the band’s growing roots. When he’s not taking care of his two-year old son – a full-time job in itself – Rayne essentially lives at CHSR. He can usually be found discussing new ideas passionately in the station’s front room, his eyes jumping from possibility to possibility almost urgently. Rayne’s intensely earnest love for his community is obvious, and stretches far beyond musical bounds – the station once held a five-part podcast series hosted by UNB nursing students on varying health issues.
Because CHSR sits on a university campus, Rayne stresses that creative outlets can be just as rewarding as more streamlined career fields. In having the station open to students, the former station manager says its important for people to know the extent to which the station prepares someone for the bigger (but not that different) ‘real world’.
“When you don’t allow people to feel empowered, you suppress them indirectly or subconciously. What I’ve learned from working here, it makes you creative and allows you to know that being creative is actually something you can make a living with,” he says.
“I look at the people I work with not only as volunteers or staff – it allows for training in the workforce. You create your own job description, you build your own skill set.”
Rayne is leaving CHSR but will continue his passion for filmmaking and producing. He’s working on bringing his own business to fruition but hopes to fit many more creative projects into the mix. He recently helped on local band Young Satan in Love’s music video, released last Friday, to name just one.
“For me, moving into creating my own business is going to be liberating where I’ll be able to concentrate more creatively on my projects out of passion. I feel like it’s a really good time. I’m not scared because life’s too short.”